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Thread: Middle School Lifting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Sioux City Iowa
    Posts
    160

    Default Middle School Lifting

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    Hello Everyone,

    The last 5 weeks I've been having 6th graders come in the WR 1 day a week to learn the barbell movements. One week we do Squats, Presses and Deadlifts and the following week we work on Cleans, Snatches and Jerks. The goal is to get the familiar with the movements, cues I use and body positioning so this summer when they start lifting twice a week they are ahead of the curve learning wise. I try to make this as fun as possible seeing as 6th graders are not ready physically or mentally to "train". Would anyone with experience working with younger lifters have any suggestions on games, activities or coaching strategies to liven things up and keep things fun?

    I typically have 10-15 kids at a time, we do each movement for about 10ish mins (enough time to get them some reps and coaching but not so long that it gets boring) then I end with a game/activity and a quick nutrition talk. We usually go 45-60 mins.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Posts
    904

    Default

    Iíve got limited experience with kids this young, but Iíve worked with a few in a group. They always want to add weight to the bar, so I would tell them that they couldnít go up in weight until they did things right at the current weight.

    To keep things ďfunĒ I had them do races on the rowers, push up contests, or short foot races, but only because they asked for that kind of stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Relay Race Tic Tac Toe is a good one. Don't need any equipment. There are youtube videos on it.
    As for strategies, I wouldn't try to take a group that young up in weight because of their age, size of the group, lack of time together, and infrequency of sessions. Just get them doing the movement well which should be fine for the format you described.
    Other ideas would depend on what equipment you have. I don't train anyone younger than 7th grade and I have at least 4 hours a week with them just for strength training. Their training takes more and more of our time together as the weight gets heavier. That means I have to work less and less to find other things for them to do. For me, it is the rowing machine, but that's our sport and we spend at least 7 hours a week on it outside of our 4 hours we spend on strength.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Delgadillo View Post

    To keep things “fun” I had them do races on the rowers, push up contests, or short foot races, but only because they asked for that kind of stuff.
    Competition is the spice of training.

    Get them involved in "coaching" each other.

    Don't "hurry."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Sioux City Iowa
    Posts
    160

    Default

    To be clear the 6th graders are not adding any weight to the bar. We use 25lb barbells and only add weight on deadlifts for spacing from the floor (10s and plywood weights so the 10s don't taco). When summer comes around my plan is they will lift 2xs per week, Day 1 is Technique only just the 25lb bar and Day 2 they can add 5lbs to their lifts as long as form is maintained. I've done this with some pre-pubescent 7th graders and it works well. Lots of emphasis on lifting safely and technique, the weight will come as they get older.

    Some of the "fun" things I've done is a few different relay races (usually some type of light farmers carry), hanging from a chin up bar for time, tug-o-war and some station work. They LOVE using the prowler sled, but unfortunately we only have one and space is a little limited. Keep the tips flowing! The more ideas we can bounce off each other the better! Thanks coaches!

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